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What Happened To The White House E-Mails?
lizzyben (986088) writes "Can the White House really be so technologically inept? Here's a detailed investigation into the estimated 5 million White House emails that have been lost, many of them reportedly dealing with sensitive political issues.
From the story: "The White House, however, had remained mum about this massive black hole in its journaling system. Consequently, the issue didn't become problematic until January 2006 when Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald tried to determine what role, if any, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, had played in the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative. After Fitzgerald requested that all relevant email from the White House be turned over to his office, he discovered, as he noted in a January 23, 2006, letter to Libby's attorney, "that not all email of the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through normal archiving process on the White House computer system."
"But is this the result of a widespread attempt by the Bush administration to leave no electronic fingerprint behind, the fallout stemming from a series of IT missteps, political infighting and technical ineptitude, or perhaps some combination of the two?""
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How Corporations Spy
lizzyben (986088) writes "According to this story on CIOZone, The newest generation of monitoring systems from security vendors can catch and record employees breaking a wide range of policies.
From the article: "In fact, the monitoring systems offered by Raytheon Oakley Networks, where Bennett is the vice president of marketing, are so sophisticated, they can play back in a movie-like session an employee's exact key strokes as they crossed the line and violated company policy or broke the law. Forrester research analyst Thomas Raschke says this TiVo-like ability is one of the product's main competitive advantages.""
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Fewer African-Americans, more Asians in IT
lizzyben writes "This CIO Insight analysis of government data shows that the percentage of employed blacks in IT managerial and staff professional positions in the United States declined nearly 26 percent over the past 6 and a half years while the employment within IT among Asians soared by more than 17 percent.
From the article: "African-Americans are proportionally less represented in IT than they are in other professions. African-Americans represent 6.5 percent of employed IT managers and staff professionals but 11 percent of all types of managers and staff professionals. However, 16.3 percent of Asians hold IT managerial and professional staff jobs versus 4.6 percent of overall managerial and professional staff jobs in the U.S. Citing other research, CIO Insight reports that a majority of surveyed African-American IT managers have considered leaving their jobs over the previous 12 months. Fewer than half saw the possibility of career advancement in IT.""
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CIO Salary Survey: Who Are The Highest Paid?
lizzyben (986088) writes "Compensation packages in the multiple millions are becoming more common, a new Baseline study of public companies shows.
From the article: "The jump in multimillion-dollar pay packages for 2006 isn't surprising, considering that fewer than half of the executives in our ranking have plain "CIO" titles. Twenty-nine of the 52 also manage operations, logistics, customer service or other business areas. Jeff Fox, whose $9 million paycheck last year puts him at the top of our list, oversees technology inside Alltel but also is president of Alltel's shared services group. He's been at the company 11 years and, at age 44, is one of the youngest execs on our list.""
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lizzyben (986088) writes "Tiffany & Co., the Houston Rockets and Peace Corps might sound like strage bedfellows, but the technology execs at these organizations are said to be three of the 100 most influential CIOs in the U.S., as ranked by the editors of Baseline, CIO Insight and eWeek. And as it happens, nearly 20% of these uber-techies are women.
Rankings are based on "track record of IT success, scope of influence beyond his or her own organization, the ability to effect change, level of engagement in developing today's emerging technologies and the return on technology investments in the person's company."
Some of those lauded may not be much to look at (the slideshow includes photos), but their work appears to be paying off."
lizzyben (986088) writes "In this special security report, Baseline magazine takes a detailed look at an emerging class of security tools and the pitfalls that can ensue when they are not properly configured, managed or integrated with existing systems.
From the story: "Organizations can get caught in a cycle of adding layers of technology every time a new class of security products emerges, says John Pescatore, a vice president and research fellow at Gartner in Stamford, Conn. "If you keep spending on more and more layers, you start eating up more and more of the I.T. budget, leaving less money for meeting new business demands and applications," he warns."
lizzyben (986088) writes "Baseline magazine investigates the wider implications of Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham's disgraced 2005 resignation. A year ago, Cunningham was sentenced to eight years and four months in federal prison and admitted taking at least $2.4 million in bribes from information-technology contractors in exchange for helping them secure hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts from the Pentagon and the intelligence community.
From the article: "In recent months, it has become clear that the information-technology scandal that rocked Washington may be more far-reaching than had been initially recognized. The names of other members of Congress, along with a senior Defense Department official, have surfaced in relation to the case, at the heart of which are government charges that Cunningham and co-conspirators caused hundreds of millions of dollars in defense and intelligence I.T. contracts — a number of them involving national security — to be awarded to companies that in many instances, the government claims, weren't the best qualified for the job.""
lizzyben (986088) writes "Got avatar? Baseline is running a long piece on how big business is jumping on the Second Life bandwagon.
From the article: "Real-world companies such as Toyota and American Apparel are exploring whether this 3D world can be adapted to serve real business purposes, similar to the way the Web evolved from a medium for academics and hobbyists to one that supports corporate commerce and marketing. Already, your avatar can test-drive a Toyota Scion or buy clothes in a virtual American Apparel store. So far, however, it's not clear how much these efforts are doing to sell real-world cars, clothes or any other merchandise.""
lizzyben (986088) writes "Could a piece of software be a key ingredient of Boeing's success — as well as a major contributor to Airbus' troubles? This long piece from Baseline sheds light on how the two jet-makers used the same type of technology — product life-cycle management software — with radically different results.
In October 2006, Airbus chief executive Christian Streiff announced that the company's A380 superjumbo would be delayed by at least two years. "The delay and resulting changes to the program were expected to cost Boeing's fiercest competitor as much as $6 billion in lost profits. The cause, Streiff said, was due to compatibility issues with the sophisticated computer-aided design software used by engineers to architect the A380."
More from the article: "Airbus' lax enforcement of a single lingua franca for design was at the heart of the A380's later problems. While there are many ways that different CAD systems, and even different editions of the same CAD programs, can trip up a product's design, those ways become multiplied with the complexity of the end product and the increased number of suppliers creating parts or components for its manufacture.
"By contrast, Boeing management is taking no such chances. Well before Airbus' problem became public, the U.S. aerospace manufacturer had put into place a rigorous set of requirements to ensure that the same edition of Catia is used by everyone connected with the shaping of the Dreamliner.""
lizzyben (986088) writes "Baseline is running a long piece about the inner workings of MySpace.com. The story chronicles how the social networking site has continuously upgraded its technology infrastructure — not entirely systematically — to accommodate more than 26 million accounts. It was a rocky road and there are still hiccups, several of which writer David F. Carr details here.
In many ways, the success of MySpace is counterintuitive. From the story: "MySpace.com's continued growth flies in the face of much of what Web experts have told us for years about how to succeed on the Internet. It's buggy, often responding to basic user requests with the dreaded "Unexpected Error" screen, and stocked with thousands of pages that violate all sorts of conventional Web design standards with their wild colors and confusing background images. And yet, it succeeds anyway.""
lizzyben (986088) writes "The history of software development is marked by missed deadlines, blown budgets and broken promises. Author Scott Rosenberg, founding editor of Salon discusses this dysfunctional culture, and why it persists.
From the interview: "Software is basically entirely abstract, except for the screens, and the screens are what business people always end up focusing on. The insubstantiality of the product promotes the idea that, hey, why should it take so long? There's nothing there.""
lizzyben (986088) writes "Baseline magazine writes, "The key to project success is learning from what works as well as what doesn't work. Baseline has compiled a list of best practices drawn from nearly 230 case studies we've written in the last five years." Best practices include: "The easiest solution isn't always the best" and "Measure success — but also failure."
lizzyben (986088) writes "While women CIOs are hard to come by, their numbers are growing, Baseline is reporting. The magazine talked to five women CIOs and executives to learn how women tech workers can give their careers a jolt. Advice for climbing the corporate tech ladder include: Manage by facts, play to win and know your incompetencies."
lizzyben (986088) writes "Baseline reports that Providence Health & Services, a health — care service provider, lost information on 365,000 patients — after 10 backup tapes and disks were stolen from an employee's minivan. Now, 12 months and $7 million later, the company remains mired in the aftermath.
From the story: "The incident also exposed Providence to a relatively unknown, costly and potentially dangerous variation of ID theft — medical ID theft. Here, thieves can use stolen information to obtain treatment in victims' names, corrupt their medical records and file false insurance claims.
"People whose health records are stolen and falsified may get the wrong medical treatment, find their insurance exhausted or become uninsurable, says Pam Dixon, executive director of World Privacy Forum and author of a report, Medical Identity Theft: The Information Crime that Can Kill You. Medical ID theft 'can affect your health and well-being,' she warns.""
lizzyben (986088) writes "Baseline magazine interviewed CIOs and IT consultants to get their take on Microsoft's Vista and is reporting that "Most big companies will wait at least a year before deploying Vista to make sure the operating system is stable and that third-party applications work well with it, the beta testers say."
More from the story: "...relatively few users have had a chance to test Vista's security features in the environments where its flaws would be most costly. 'I have a trust-but-verify posture," says Matt Miszewski, chief information officer for the state of Wisconsin, who oversees 64,000 desktop systems. He says it would be a mistake to believe Microsoft has solved all of its security problems.'
Then there's BitLocker: The security component which encrypts the contents of a hard drive so that a stolen laptop can't become a source of pilfered intellectual property. "Erik Schmidt, a technical manager at the University of Florida, which has been evaluating Vista on more than 50 PCs as part of Microsoft's Technology Adoption Program...says BitLocker 'is a very good idea, but it can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.'""
lizzyben (986088) writes "Baseline has a story about a major IT disaster in the UK: "In 2002, the English government embarked on a $12 billion effort to transform its health-care system with information technology. But the country's oversight agency now puts that figure at $24 billion, and two Members of Parliament say the project is "sleepwalking toward disaster."
More from the story: "In scale, the project, called the National Program for Information Technology (NPfIT), is overwhelming. Initiated in 2002, the NPfIT is a 10-year project to build new computer systems that would connect more than 100,000 doctors, 380,000 nurses and 50,000 other health-care professionals; allow for the electronic storage and retrieval of patient medical records; permit patients to set up appointments via their computers; and let doctors electronically transmit prescriptions to local pharmacies."
lizzyben (986088) writes "Problems with electronic voting machines were widespread yesterday, and some of them are still holding up the vote counts in critical states. This story is a wrap of the most egregious glitches with links to regional coverage.
From the story: In Colorado a centralized statewide voter database is used to track where votes are cast. But network connection issues prevented the database from working properly in the morning, and the system crashed in the afternoon. As a result, many precincts resorted to paper provisional ballots; some voters were turned away when the paper ballots ran out."
lizzyben (986088) writes "Israel's focus on security extends to computers. Baseline Magazine has a story about a service that an Israeli ISP, Internet Gold, developed to help small businesses fight off intrusive software.
More from the story: "For Internet Gold's home and small-business customers, Aladdin diverts their traffic through a device in the ISP's data center that inspects application protocols such as FTP and HTTP for spyware. The vendor has a team working 24/7 to identify spyware Web sites, communicate with other security vendors, and study spyware behavior and code.""
lizzyben (986088) writes "to mention an interview with Robert Scoble on cioinsight.com. 'By blogging for the world's largest software company, Scoble changed the way companies communicate with the world and became an industry celebrity in the process.' He talks about MS culture, senior management and the benefits of blogging from inside the belly of the software beast."
Liz Bennett writes "Despite recent recalls and other issues, Toyota consistently produces higher-quality cars, with fewer worker-hours, lower inventory and fewer defects, than any other competitor, writes Baseline magazine in an in-depth story in its September issue. The engine behind its success, say insiders and outsiders alike, is the Toyota Production System (TPS), a set of principles, philosophies and business processes to enable the leanest manufacturing.
And behind TPS is information technology — supporting and enabling the business processes that help Toyota eliminate waste, operate with virtually no inventory and continually improve production."
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